Geneva Nuclear Agreement Sets the Stage for Easing of Middle East Tensions


orld powers and Iran have signed a deal on Iran’s nuclear programme following intense talks in Geneva in November 2013. Both sides committed to a series of steps which will last for six months, while a more conclusive deal is negotiated. Here are the key points of what the two sides agreed:

What Iran will do:

  • Halt enrichment of uranium above 5% purity. (Uranium enriched to 3.5-5% can be used for nuclear power reactors, 20% for nuclear medicines and 90% for a nuclear bomb)
  • “Neutralise” its stockpile of near-20%-enriched uranium, either by diluting it to less than 5% or converting it to a form which cannot be further enriched.
  • Not install any more centrifuges (the machines used to enrich uranium)
  • Leave half to three-quarters of centrifuges installed in Natanz and Fordo enrichment facilities inoperable.
  • Not build any more enrichment facilities.
  • Not increase its stockpile of 3.5% low-enriched uranium.
  • Halt work on the construction of its heavy-water reactor at Arak, not attempt to produce plutonium there (an alternative to highly enriched uranium used for an atomic weapon).
  • Provide daily access to Natanz and Fordo sites to IAEA inspectors and access to other facilities, mines and mills.
  • Provide “long-sought” information on the Arak reactor and other data.

What the world powers will do:

  • Provide “limited, temporary, targeted, and reversible [sanctions] relief.”
  • Not impose further nuclear-related sanctions if Iran meets its commitments.
  • Suspend certain sanctions on trade in gold and precious metals, Iran’s automotive sector, and its petrochemical exports.
  • Licence safety-related repairs and inspections inside Iran for certain Iranian airlines.
  • Transfer $4.2bn (£2.6bn) to Iran in installments from sales of its oil.
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